The tape recorders will be rolling, the camcorders will be recording and the blogs will be flowing at the National Association of Realtors conference in San Francisco this October, as an independent “blog squad” reports on the proceedings.

“We’ll get behind the scenes with our laptops, cameras and camcorders and put together a daily consortium of comments,” said Frances Flynn Thorsen. Thorsen, a Bethlehem, Pa., Realtor and blogger, is coordinating the effort at the NAR Realtors Conference & Expo Oct. 28-31. The blog site is

Mike Campbell, an associate broker and anchor of WWJ Newsradio, a CBS affiliate in Michigan, Craig Newmark, founder of the well-known craigslist classified ad and discussion site, and Hanan Levin, Realtor, blogger and co-owner of The Champion Co. in Riverside, Calif., are three of the 14 bloggers signed up so far for the squad, Thorsen said.

Most of the people on the blog squad are Realtors, she said, but anyone who is interested can participate. The blog will launch in mid- to late August, and anyone who would like totake part can notify Thorsen

“It’s an exercise in citizen journalism,” said Thorsen, who in prior incarnations worked as a reporter in New Jersey and covered conventions for a print trade publication, Paper Age Convention Daily. “It’s an open forum. I don’t think there is an open forum in the real estate industry now, and the blog format lends itself to that.”

Thorsen, who established her RealtyGram Blogger, a separate entity from the upcoming conference blog, in January, emphasized that the convention blog will contain no commercial messages and none of the bloggers will be paid. She said bloggers don’t have to attend the convention, but can post from afar.

“They can blog about their thoughts and reactions” to convention events, she said. “People don’t have to be in San Francisco physically to talk about items of import. They can do that from anywhere in the country.”

The Realtor said she contacted the NAR about the blog effort and the organization gave its permission for the bloggers to attend the press briefings. “So far, I don’t know if we’ll be able to get press badges or use the press room. I’m hoping we can get press credentials,” Thorseon said.

A NAR spokesman said only credentialed reporters will be issued press passes for the convention.

“Anyone who is a credentialed reporter can register as a member of the press with us,” said Lucien Salvant, an NAR spokesman. “You would have to be employed by a newspaper, magazine, online publication, TV station or radio station.”

Salvant said, “If they are NAR members they will be attending the convention anyway.”

Salvant noted that the NAR’s internal news service, a weekly e-mail that goes out to state and local board presidents and executive directors, will report on convention events daily during the event.

The NAR had itsown blog for its 2004 convention, but Salvant said the organization will not have one for this year’s convention, held in San Francisco.

Asked if his organization welcomed the bloggers, he said, “I really don’t have a comment. They can do what they want.”


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